As a technology footed CEO, the happenings of industry giants is always front and centre in my mind. The goings on and shifts they take has a continual impact on data – or more importantly, the many partners who depend on us to alleviate the pain of dealing with data in hard to reach sources or archives. One morning last week, as I sipped my coffee and waited for my team on the East Coast to sign in – news hit that really made me ponder. What will the coming together this October 12th of two industry legends, Dell and EMC, mean to our partners and their customers? Dell, for years, has made significant inroads in how it provides services vs just hardware to the enterprise. Digital storage giant, EMC, has a long and honoured post as the mecca of storage ability. While the monumental price of $67bn should prove to be the highlight of the news articles toting it as one of the largest technology acquisition in history, the big news for us are the potential implications for their archiving customers. Acquisitions are always an intensely interesting processes – we have all enjoyed the long-running saga as HP tried to ingest Autonomy and promptly got financial indigestion!
Now factor in the news that OpenText of Canada will acquire Daegis Inc., which came to the press just six days before. By some celestial synchronicity, it too has relevance for archiving applications and customers. Again, as a ceo with data on the brain, it’s not just the who’s who, or the cost of the merger that captures my attention – it’s the accounts and their legions of data that will have to adapt to unforeseen, and sometimes unwanted change…
In 2011, US-based document management firms Unify and Daegis merged under the name Daegis. Unify had acquired another US-firm, AXS-One (archiving product, 4 total owners), in April 2009 and now had some huge global financial archiving customers – particularly some key customers still working with Lotus Notes.
OpenText Corporation’s purchase of Daegis unites these archiving customers with those from German archive vendor, IXOS (2 owners), that it acquired in 2003.
Dell acquired Quest Software for $2.4 billion in 2012 and added their Archive Manager (3 owners) product that came from New Zealand vendor, Aftermail, (for a reported $45m) in 2006. Now, with the acquisition of EMC they gain two more email archives, the flagship, SourceOne (2 owners), and legacy EmailXtender (5 owners).
SourceOne had been a relative success for EMC, but since the departure of Sales leader, Steve Kennedy, late last year (he will have seen the writing on the wall, and he joined a thriving eDiscovery firm), it has not been prioritised and ceases to be mentioned at any EMC events.
So again I ask myself, with so many archiving chickens now coming home to roost, how will they manage those eggs? Customers (eggs!) with archive solutions bought over the years from EDUCOM, Legato, ZANTAZ, AXS-One, EMC, Unify, Mimosa, IXOS, CA, Iron Mountain Digital, Autonomy, HP, Aftermail, Daegis, Quest and Dell will be considering change. All are now subject to the decisions made by three companies; Dell, HP and OpenText, who will all set out to decide what technologies to standardise on.
Uncertainties such as this, triggered by the continual consolidation of email archiving vendors, have been added drivers for CIOs looking to reduce their vendor footprint, as well as potentially move non-core applications to the big and ever-promising Cloud. Microsoft Office 365 is both the evangelist and victor in this.
As I look at our partner ecosystem – the best of best in archive migration specialists – who, with our support, have now helped nearly 600 of the above archiving customers migrate. Another 500 are customers of Symantec Enterprise Vault (6 owners) – which has now, for a second time, been consumed by a company called Veritas.
I hear our partners’ recent tales, about the many customers who have all made the decision to move their legacy email archives directly to Microsoft archiving. It seems to me, that with this hefty consolidation – the push, push, push to the Cloud – the intensely interesting marketplace known as archiving, initially dominated by small entrepreneurial companies, could soon see its end.
This fact may scare other ceo’s sitting at the helm of a company similar to TransVault, yet with the knowledge that our company has previously built partnerships with both Dell and EMC, I see only opportunity for us and our partners that makes me sleep very soundly at night. And each morning, just as the one before, I get up knowing that TransVault has the breadth of knowledge and leadership that will allow us to soar during this time. We will continue to provide all those customers needing email archive migration support with leading migration technologies and a trusted, experienced partner they can depend on.
Onwards and upwards I say!